Simulating Future Cities with AI + VR/AR

Million AI Startups
Million AI Startups
Public group
Location image of event venue

What we'll do

Dear Members of Million AI Startups:

We would like to invite you to our next meetup on Tuesday, September 12, at 6:00-9:00pm in Menlo Park to hear and discuss about the applications of emerging technologies in AI + AR/VR for planning sustainable and smart cities of the future. During the meetup you will hear from speakers who are involved in city planning around Bay Area as well as experts who are applying AI + AR/VR in improving the design and maintenance of the cities.

AR/VR provide an immersive and game-like design environment where various aspects of a design such as a train station or a traffic routing system can be examined and optimized by designers. AI-enabled characters in the design environment add the constraints and requirements that can be experienced by people in the environment of a city. Such a design environment works as a simulated virtual environment of a future city where all the stakeholders from citizens to policy-makers and experts interact to better understand the implications of different design choices and provide their inputs.


6:00-6:15pm Registration and Networking

6:15-6:30 Introduction and Acknowledgements

6:30-6:50 The Vision: From Scarecity to Abundance, Jonathan Kolber, Author, A Celebration Society at Inciti Publishing

People will get the most out of the talk if they spend ~10 minutes on these two links: ("An AI Epiphany?") and

6:50-7:00 Break and Networking

7:00-7:30 Panel: Technology

Victor Pomponiu Scientist, Institute of Infocomm Research

Maria Fujihara Environmentalist - Advisory in Sustainable Cities and Construction

Matt Klenk Senior Research Scientist at PARC

Vesela Tanaskovic CEO-CSO at Afforest4Future

7:30-7:40 Break and Networking

7:40-8:00 Fireside Chat - Views from City of San Jose and City of Menlo Park

8:00-8:30 Panel: Commercialization

Sheridan Tatsuno Co-founder,

Shahin Farshchi Partner, Lux Capital

Bow Rodgers President of Business Development, COYERO, Inc.

Richard Shinn Founder and CEO at AiBrain

Cirrus Shakeri Chief Architect at AIBrain

8:30-8:40 Closing: Poll the audience for interest in a next event, conclusion and action items

8:40-9:00 Freeform Discussions and Networking

Application Domains:

• Planning Infrastructure Systems: roads, bridges, tolls, parking spaces, buildings,

• Planning Transportation Systems: cars, buses, trains/subways, airports, traffic management

• Private Infrastructure: housing, stores, etc.

• Training: construction & operations safety, career development, teamwork

• others

AI + AR/VR Capabilities:

• Simulation and control of complex physical systems with emerging behavior such as traffic flow

• Human factors: cognitive, emotional and social intelligence of humans and machines interacting

• E-commerce management and tracking

• Virtual travel/tourism

• others …



• ONE REALITY - Explore – Experience – Understand:

• AIBrain - The Intelligent Company:

Position Statements

Below are position statements from speakers and panelists who will give a talk at the meetup:

Jonathan Kolber, Author, 'A Celebration Society ('

Those who launch AI startups need not fear that self-aware AIs will endanger humanity. Instead, they can rejoice that such AIs will protect us from our worst instincts and fears. We can build a world that some would call utopian. Best of all, we can do so on a platform of established technologies and scientific understandings from diverse fields.

Silicon Valley has proven the efficacy of lean startup principles for disrupting industries. It is time to do the same for society itself. Current understandings of AI and simulations can be married to lean startup principles to develop society 2.0. Such a model can be debugged until ready for physical implementation. Once implemented and refined, the society can be exponentially duplicated, like a well-executed Silicon Valley startup.

People will get the most out of the talk if they spend ~10 minutes on these two links: ("An AI Epiphany?")

Matt Klenk, Senior Research Scientist at PARC

Collaborative Optimization and Planning for Transportation Energy Reduction

• ARPA-e project with a pilot deployment in Los Angeles scheduled for the end of the year looks at how we can save energy across the transportation infrastructure through detailed energy models and understanding how to influence people’s transportation decision making. Ongoing pilot deployments in LA, Denver, and Bengaluru.


• Analyzes the daily activities or parking enforcement officers to improve the services of the city.

• Part of a broader methodology to focused on developing tailored human-machine collaborative teams.

Assistive Technologies:

• Exploring how to enable “micro volunteering” to improve the mobility and independence of the elderly and people with disabilities.

Smart Sustainable Cities by Sheridan Tatsuno, Co-founder,

Silicon Valley technologists are actively promoting their "Smart Cities" products and services, but they are making two mistakes: First, they are focused on tech-push, quarterly-return marketing strategies ("Hammers seeking nails") which usually have a very low success rate because it is supply-side approach that fails to understand the complex dynamics and needs of cities and communities (i.e. demand side). Moreover, they focus on data-intensive cities, but in light of climate change, they are just "automating pollution and dirty cities" without offering real value in developing longer-term sustainable solutions.

To become truly "smart cities", cities must become sustainable under the Paris Accord and resilient to handle short-term challenges. AI (smart cities) + VR/AR are merely tools to enable cities to achieve this goal, which is already being done in the Nordics. Copenhagen will go carbon-neutral around 2025, Sweden around 2045. How can Silicon Valley cities use AI + VR/AR to become sustainable quickly since we do not have time to shift to this new urban design paradigm?

For some fun summer reading, check out my novel, "Virtually San Francisco," where the mayor challenges VR developers to reinvent the City:

Vesela Tanaskovic, CEO-CSO at Afforest4Future

Using big data and AI in future city planning (Big data for city planning)

I will provide a short booklet composed of all the suggestions and ideas of all the Singularity University's Global Solutions Program ( (GSP17) SU participants from more than 46+ countries. I will present how our class GSP17 sees AI VR/AR and a few other exponential advance technologies to help us make smart cities.

I will bring other participants from GSP17 who are currently working on AI or smart city planning, for an open discussion on future city planning.

Bow Rodgers, President of Business Development, COYERO, Inc.

Smart Cities - More vision than validation.

In 2006, the City of Masdar in the United Arab Emirates announced that it would be the world's largest zero-carbon settlement by 2015, there were supposed to be 50,000 residents and 40,000 commuters. There would be windmills producing electricity on site, and vegetables grown on its fringes ... this whole plan has been pushed back to at least 2025!

Psychologists tell us that people do not keep their New Year’s Resolutions because they are too broad, too general and not specific. “I’m going to get in great shape this year!” In my opinion, Smart City vision suffers from this same problem - Smart City programs are often too broad in scope and lack specific, executable steps that “make money” for the city, motivate its residents to change behavior or have specific, quantifiable objectives.

Shahin Farshchi, Partner, Lux Capital

AR, VR, and AI have great potential to transform businesses and industries. Several interesting products and companies have leveraged their power to achieve huge successes. For founders, the questions shouldn't be "how can we build a great business around AR/VR/AI," but rather, "how can THIS business use AR/VR/AI to generate an unfair competitive advantage or barrier(s) to entry?" The latter questions is seldom asked, but when it is, iconic companies emerge.

Cirrus Shakeri, Chief AI Architect, AIBrain Inc.

Give Cities their own AI Memories

Being a smart city means exhibiting intelligent behavior in all aspects of city life from automatic and optimal management of resources such as water or traffic; to understanding and adapting to the requirements of the citizens and natural environment. Artificial Intelligence (AI) and related technology trends such as Big Data analytics and the Internet of Things (IoT) can provide the tools needed for building truly smart cities of the future. Inspired by human intelligence, we propose that smart cities need to have a ‘cognitive architecture’ that can bring together various AI technologies and enable a city to think, feel and connect with its citizens.

As an example of how a cognitive architecture or perspective can guide technology use, we will present ‘AI Memory for Smart Cities of the Future’. A human-like AI memory will record and learn from the events that occur in a city. We will provide some technical details about one of the AIBrain’s products called 'Memory Graph as a Service' that is a cloud based AI technology with self-organizing, self-learning, and self-scalable capabilities. We propose that with Memory Graph smart cities will have one of the most fundamental elements for intelligent behavior, namely memory.


• Mirror Worlds (David Gelernter): “A Mirror World is a representation of the real world in digital form. It attempts to map real-world structures in a geographically accurate way.”

• Digital Twin: “Digital twin refers to a digital replica of physical assets, processes and systems that can be used for various purposes.”